Thursday, May 15, 2014

Highest and lowest paying jobs

Construction workers erecting a crane. Construction worker median pay was $41,000 in 2012.
Growing up, one of the toughest decisions is to figure out what job to eventually pursue.  The job should align with your interests and passions, and ideally, should compensate you well.  All jobs are essential for the economy to function, but some jobs simply pay much better than others.

Highest paying jobs
The top ten highest paying jobs are all in the medical field with salaries well over $187,000/year.  These jobs include surgeons, dentists, physicians, internists, anesthesiologists, orthodontists, psychiatrists, etc. Not surprisingly, health care is one of the fastest growing expenditures for all income levels according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Although the salary is sky high, it's not a walk in the park to land a job in the field.  To enter the medical profession requires years of training including a doctoral or professional degree and additional training before practicing.  Not only will you give up years of your life, you'll also be saddled with substantial debt.  However, there's a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.  Once you start practicing, the compensation is staggering.

Chief executives come in at number eleven with a median salary of $168,140/year, followed by several more medical professions.  Engineers, air traffic controllers, information system managers, and marketing managers round out the top twenty positions.

Position Job 2012 Median Pay
1 Oral and maxillofacial surgeons                        187,200
2 Physicians and surgeons, all other                        187,200
3 Surgeons                        187,200
4 Obstetricians and gynecologists                        187,200
5 Internists, general                        187,200
6 Anesthesiologists                        187,200
7 Orthodontists                        187,200
8 Psychiatrists                        173,330
9 Family and general practitioners                        172,020
10 Prosthodontists                        169,130
11 Chief executives                        168,140
12 Dentists, all other specialists                        154,990
13 Pediatricians, general                        154,650
14 Nurse anesthetists                        148,160
15 Dentists, general                        145,240
16 Petroleum engineers                        130,280
17 Architectural and engineering managers                        124,870
18 Air traffic controllers                        122,530
19 Computer and information systems managers                        120,950
20 Marketing managers                        119,480
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Lowest paying jobs
On the bottom of the list, you'll find all sorts of jobs including bakers, bartenders, cashiers, fast food workers, drivers, cooks, roofers, security guards, retail sales persons, waiters, etc. who earn less than $25,000/year, a salary that is hardly livable.  Regardless of how hard you save at this income level, building a substantial net worth is extremely challenging.

Interested in learning more?  See the fastest growing occupations or the fields with the most new jobs.